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Does working actually cost you 50% of your wage?

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Compare the Market

The place where you earn the cash to keep everything else ticking along consumes a lot of time, and it consumes a lot of the money we earn too. A recent report suggests that many Australians may be spending up to 50% of their earnings on work related expenses throughout the year.

This report from Mccrindle asked over 540 Australians what they spend during the working day, adding up lunches, transport, clothes and childcare. The results are shocking, estimating that we spend almost half our income on working related expenses. We break down the stats and provide some tips on ways to save.

Lunches and beverages (yes, you, morning coffee)

According to the report, employees are spending just under $900 a year on lunch, drinks and snacks whilst at work. Men spend more often, with 27% of males saying they buy food items at least once per day, compared with 16% of women. Food purchasing decreases with age, with almost 80% of generation Ys, 77% of Gen X and 60% of Baby Boomers spending on worktime foods.

Here are a few ways to make savings:

Clothes for work

Employees spend an average of $320 per year maintaining and updating their wardrobe for work. This figure includes companies that provide a wardrobe, so the rest of the workforce likely spends much more.

Instead of buying off the rack you could:

Related: How much is your wardrobe worth?


The cost of running a car every year, with registration, petrol, tolls and parking can amount to $4,800. That’s a lot of cash just to get to and from the office: You could make savings by:

Education Expenses

To keep relevant in today’s job market some workers look at upskilling. 30% of those surveyed paid for their own training, amounting to an average cost of $1936.

Rather than bear this burden you could:


One of the most expensive work-related outlays is childcare at almost $18 thousand a year. Many full-time workers have to have their children looked after for 10 hours per day, and with averages hourly rates at $7.40, this can easily add up to $370 per week, or 22% of the average full time wage.

It’s not easy to save on childcare costs, but here are some ideas:


On the average Australian wage of $80,000 per year, $16,000 is taken in income tax. Whilst this deduction is inevitable, there are ways of ensuring you claim any deductions you are entitled to. To do this you need a great agent: Approach them with this in mind:

Manage spending to reduce work related expenses

Incurring costs related to work may be seem inescapable, but there are ways they can be reduced. By planning spending carefully and reducing your outgoings, you could save several thousands of dollars per year.

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